If you find yourself struggling to conceive a baby, you might consider in vitro fertilization (IVF). While the entire process is physically and emotionally draining, it’s also tough financially. How much does IVF cost in Canada?
IVF costs can range from $7,750 to $12,250. This price doesn’t include the cost of medications needed throughout the process, which can range from $2,500 to $7,000 per treatment cycle.
While some provinces issue help for those suffering from infertility, the majority of the cost is the burden of the patient, especially if it’s your second or third attempt.
Why does it cost so much, and how does the government help? I’ll explore that in this article and also offer alternative options to IVF. Here’s what you should know.
You probably heard of In vitro fertilization before, but you may not know the ins and outs of the procedure. IVF assists those that are having trouble conceiving. The man’s sperm and the woman’s egg (1 or more) are fertilized outside the body and then transferred into the woman’s uterus.
IVF costs include medications, egg retrieval, preservation, consultation, and monitoring fees. The process can be very expensive, mentally and physically draining, as well as a huge financial hardship.
The procedure isn’t a guarantee, and many times patients need to undergo additional rounds to achieve success.
IVF Cost Breakdown
The cost of IVF depends on where you live and where you seek treatment. However, here’s an idea of where some of the costs go and what they’re used for.
Medication is one of the costliest parts of IVF. Certain medicines help stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs, allowing for successful retrieval of viable eggs to use in the process. Medication can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $7,000.
The basic cost of IVF includes consultations, appointments, ovulation and drug treatment monitoring, surgery and anesthesia. Fees for this range anywhere from $5,000 on up.
The costs can skyrocket if you have leftover eggs or embryos you wish to freeze and use at another time. Allow an extra $1,000 to $2,000 for these services. In addition, you can do genetic testing that can add hundreds or thousands more to the final price.
Unfortunately, IVF isn’t a sure thing, and one round doesn’t always end up with a successful result. For the average patient, scraping up the money for a second round of IVF often isn’t feasible.
Certain private insurances may cover partial costs for IVF. However, if you already have an infertility diagnosis, it could be considered a preexisting condition. If that’s the case, most insurers won’t offer coverage.
But there is hope for financial help. Four provinces throughout Canada provide aid to those seeking fertility treatments. However, the coverage varies significantly, and those living in the remaining nine provinces and territories can’t rely on government help.
To be eligible for fertility treatments funded by the government, you need to live in Ontario and have an Ontario medical card. In addition, women seeking treatment must be under 43 years old.
There are also limits on the coverage, including:
- One treatment cycle per patient per lifetime
- One additional treatment cycle is permitted if you are a surrogate
- Limits on medication and fertility drugs
Genetic testing and storing eggs, sperm or embryos isn’t covered. You are eligible for coverage as a same-sex couple or someone without a partner. Funding is provided to participating clinics throughout the province.
Manitoba provides a Fertility Treatment Tax Credit, which could cover 40% of treatment costs, for a maximum credit of $8,000.
To be eligible, you must live in Manitoba and seek treatment from a licensed practitioner or fertility clinic within Manitoba.
You may apply the credit against any costs not covered or reimbursed by private or group insurance plans.
New Brunswick provides a grant to help alleviate some of the costs of infertility treatment. It’s a one-time grant where you can claim up to 50% of eligible expenses for IVF and related drug treatments, up to $5,000.
You need to be a full-time resident of New Brunswick and have a valid medical card. In addition, you need an infertility diagnosis from a licensed physician.
For more information, check out the Special Assistance Fund website here.
Quebec offers a Tax Credit for the Treatment of Infertility.
To be eligible, you need to live in Quebec on December 31 of the year you plan to claim expenses. In addition, you can’t count costs that were covered or reimbursed by insurance. The maximum amount of eligible expenses you can claim is up to $20,000.
IVF is one of the most common fertility treatments, but before you go down that road and incur those expenses, you might want to consider these other options.
IUI helps couples dealing with infertility, specifically with male partners that have a low sperm count or low sperm volume. This procedure injects sperm directly into the uterus, increasing the odds of impregnation.
Practitioners monitor bloodwork and medication to find the best time to transfer a high concentration of sperm into the uterus at peak ovulation. The success rate of IUI often depends upon the woman’s age and her egg quality.
This treatment costs anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000. Of course, you should follow your doctor’s advice, but this might be a good option before choosing IVF.
The female body constantly undergoes hormone changes during ovulation and menstruation. While sometimes these processes are normal and easily tracked, other times there are issues like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, or endometriosis that throw hormones off course.
You can get help if you suffer from any of these problems, and oftentimes medications help add regularity to your cycle, making it easier to get pregnant.
If you suffer from cysts, fibroids, or other adhesions, you may find it difficult to get pregnant. In these cases, laparoscopy might work for you.
This procedure is minimally invasive and lets you go home the same day. A surgeon makes an incision into the patient’s navel and inserts a small device to help detect if there are any growths or damages to your reproductive organs.
Afterward, you and your doctor can execute a detailed plan and treatment options.
Even with tax credits and help from the government, IVF treatment in Canada is expensive. So what do you do if can’t afford it? Some people are seeking options outside of Canada.
Many women have flocked to Greece. The country boasts one of the lowest prices for IVF treatment. With costs ranging from 3,000 to 3,500 euros ($4,200 – $5,000 Canadian), it’s a hard price to beat.
Not only is the price great, but Greece also has some of the best clinics for fertility treatments. They allow women under the age of 50 and have a very short or no waiting list – a key consideration when age is a big factor.
If Greece doesn’t sound like a good choice, you could try the Czech Republic. There are close to 30 clinics throughout the country that is highly regulated. Treatment costs here range from 2,500 to 4,000 euros ($3,500 – $5,700 Canadian).
Looking for other countries with cheaper IVF options? Check out this article.
Without medication, IVF costs approximately $7,750 to $12,250. Add in $2,500 to $7,000 of medication charges on top of that, and you’re looking at a total price package that breaks most patients’ banks.
While there is help throughout some of the provinces in Canada, it still doesn’t cover all the costs. Plus, what happens if one treatment cycle doesn’t work?
If you find yourself in need of IVF and need to save some money, check out these ways to make your savings work for you.